17th century copper halfpenny token
Issued at Andover, Hampshire, in 1666
Such tokens were issued by tradesmen and town corporations to ease the dire shortage of small change that existed up to 1672. The town tokens also remedied a long felt need for poor relief. The Civil War had increased the numbers of the poor and needy in every town and the loss of the monasteries, abolished by Henry VIII, as a place of refuge for them was still keenly felt. On the obverse of this token, around a design showing the arms of Andover, a lion under a tree, is inscribed HELP O ANDEVER, along with the date 1666. The reverse shows a man on crutches with the inscription FOR YE POORES BENEFIT.